Iñigo S. Roces / Iñigo S. Roces | September 18, 2008 00:00
Kit CrazyWe've heard all the buzz about new models and the improved power and economy of the new common rail diesel engines. All the new models are brandishing their latest advancements, yet in spite of all this, there are a few car manufacturers that still soldier on with pre-chamber direct injection diesel engines. This doesn't necessarily mean they're outdated. They can't be blamed for opting for tried and tested technology and a number of consumers share the same sentiment.
Instead, they pair solid reliability with advancements in an aspect that matters more: passenger comfort. Enter the Isuzu Crosswind Sportivo. Besides the new facelift and sheer number of accessories that come standard, there's a lot of new kit to enjoy inside.
Any gadget guru will love the top-of-the-line model that comes with a head unit with full-color display, DVD playback capability and stereo mounted controls and a separate remote. There's fun for everyone as two LCD's mounted on the headrests account for the rear passengers. Slip in a DVD and the long hours will quickly pass even for the shiftiest of passengers. This system also plays conventional CD's, MP3 CD's and a charger and adapter for an iPod. Did we mention that the head unit doubles as a monitor for the back-up camera?
The rest is still very much the same Crosswind many of us have come to know and rely on. The car is certainly hardy, soldiering on even with the most careless of maintenance. The ride is rather soft, compared to its larger brethren the Alterra and D-max. The high clearance and knobby tires can take on nearly any terrain. The 5-speed manual won't win you any drag races but its short ratios make for good economy around the city and more than enough torque to push a full load.
Whatever you choose to do with your Crosswind, it will likely oblige. There's not a great deal of sophistication as there's some cabin noise at high speed and frightening body roll in every corner. The pre-chamber diesel engine is high on torque and clatter but low on acceleration. The model to get is still the top of the line manual.
Indeed, it's neither young nor sexy, but all these tech toys really make a convincing offer. We're still not sure how long a new CRDi-powered car will last, but the Crosswind's already proven itself over the past decade.
If entertainment is your life (and perhaps your passengers' too) then the Crosswind Sportivo is worth a second look. You'd be hard pressed to find another vehicle in this price range with this much multimedia kit as standard.